Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tips: How to configure a KMS Host for Office 2010 Volume Activation

If you are deploying volume license editions of Office 2010 in your organization, you have two possible methods for activating Office 2010 on client systems.

Consider you’re planning to deploy volume license editions of Office 2010 in your organization, you’ll have two possible methods for activating Office 2010 on client systems. Now, let’s check the methods out:
•    Key Management Service (KMS) This method establishes a local activation service hosted in your own environment.
If you want to do this, it is required to configure a system on your network to serve as the KMS host by installing and activating a KMS host key. Therefore, client systems throughout your organization can connect to the local Office 2010 KMS host for activation.
•    Multiple Activation Key (MAK) This is another method using which, the client computers can activate Office 2010 online by using the Microsoft hosted activation servers or by telephone.

How to plan for a KMS Host
This KMS host key for Office 2010 isn’t specific to a particular operating system. It is designed to be used on any of the operating systems supported as an Office 2010 KMS host: Windows 7 (Volume License Editions), Windows Server 2008 R2, or Windows Server 2003. Once KMS is initialized, the KMS activation infrastructure will be self-maintaining. Moreover, the KMS service can be co-hosted with other services. A sing KMS host is capable of supporting hundreds of thousands of KMS clients. Therefore, most organizations can deploy merely two KMS hosts for their entire infrastructure.

How to configure your KMS Host
1.    First, it is required to download and run the Microsoft Office 2010 KMS Host License Pack tool on the system that acts as the KMS host.
2.    Now, it is required to read and accept the license terms if you wish to continue with the installation.
3.    Once the Host License Pack is successfully installed, it is required to select Yes to enter your host product key and continue with activation.

4.    Then, it is required to enter the KMS host key to continue with the activation.
5.    If the firewall is enabled, it is required to allow KMS through it. Follow the below steps.
o    Go to Control Panel and open Windows Firewall.
o    Click the Allow A Program Through Windows Firewall link.
o    Click the Change Settings button.
o    Select the Key Management Service option
o    Click OK.

Remember if you enable the firewall on a KMS host, the default TCP communications port number is 1688.
If you wish to setup an Office 2010 KMS host on Windows Server 2003, it is required install the Key Management Service first. While the minimum required version is KMS 1.1, we recommend that you install KMS 1.2. This is because, the version is capable of recognizing virtual computers as part of the activation count. Note that KMS 1.2 will require Windows Server 2003 to have at least SP2 installed.
How manage discovery:
In order to store and communicate the locations of KMS hosts, the KMS service uses service (SRV) resource records (RRs) in DNS. For the first time if a client queries DNS for KMS information, it will be capable of randomly selecting a KMS host from the list of SRV RRs that DNS returns. The address of a DNS server that contains the SRV RRs can be listed as a suffixed entry on KMS clients, which allows advertisement of SRV RRs for KMS in one DNS server and KMS clients that have other primary DNS servers to find it.

If you wish, you can add the priority and weight parameters to the DnsDomainPublishList registry value for KMS hosts on Volume License editions of Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2.

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